President of Cuba since 10 October 2019
Predator since taking office
Cuba, 171st/180 countries in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index
PREDATORY METHOD: Soviet-style totalitarianism
The protégé of Raúl Castro, who he replaced as president in 2019 and then as first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba as well in 2021, Miguel Díaz-Canel is the first Cuban leader since 1959 not to be a member of the Castro family but, following the Castro family tradition, he maintains almost total control over news and information.
TV, radio and print media are all closely controlled by the government while the constitution bans privately-owned media outlets. Journalists who don’t toe the party line are subjected to arrests, arbitrary detention, threats of imprisonment, harassment, persecution, illegal home searches and confiscation and destruction of journalistic equipment.
FAVOURITE TARGETS: Independent media outlets, all dissident journalists
OFFICIAL DISCOURSE: Authoritarian communism
“Our journalism is honest, free and sovereign, like the land we defend #WeAreCuba #WeAreContinuity.” (A tweet by the president reacting indirectly to the release of RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom – in which Cuba was ranked 171st out of 180 countries – on 25 April 2020).